Cookbook Review: Frugal Vegan

What better time to cook through and review the Frugal Vegan cookbook than a little over a month before our wedding?

At first glance you might feel like something is missing. Frugal. How can you eat well on a budget? The authors, Katie and Kate of Well Vegan, did a great job of creating balanced recipes that check all of the right boxes. Affordable. Quick. Healthy. Filling. Oh, and delicious.

I tried a lot of recipes from Frugal Vegan, all of them delicious, but I decided to share something different with you all.  I normally don’t make or share “cheesy” vegan food.  I tend to save those recipes for awkward dinner parties when you have to bring a crowd-pleasing dish. I used to make things like Carrot Applesauce or Za’atar Chickpea Salad. Now, obviously I stand behind both of those recipes, but I’m just asking for trouble by bringing unpronounceable spiced chickpeas and baby food to parties. I learned my lesson quickly, if I didn’t want to stand out (which I never want to do – why did I buy bright yellow glasses?) I needed to make food that no one would ever know was vegan.

Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas

Photo from the Frugal Vegan Cookbook

 

Enter Frugal Vegan. Their recipe for ooey-gooey Mushroom Quesadillas blew my mind. The ooey-gooey is from TOFU! Not, like I was anticipating, a package of store-bought vegan cheese. This recipe is basically a homemade, fuss-free, vegan pepperjack cheese that is salty, melty, a little stretchy and just a touch spicy. They feature it as a quesadilla, but I used the leftover tofu filling for grilled cheese sandwiches, tossed in pasta (mac n cheese style), and on roasted potatoes.

Frugal Vegan Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe is from the recently released Frugal Vegan cookbook.

  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup and 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp tapioca flour
  • 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Pico de gallo, for serving, optional
  • Guacamole, for serving, optional
  1. To make the cheese, first press the tofu with several layers of paper towel to remove as much water as possible. Then, break the tofu into a few small pieces and add them to the bowl of a food processor, followed by the water, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Sauté the mushrooms until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Transfer the cheese mixture to a small saucepan and stir constantly over low heat. The cheese will begin to clump and eventually become gooey. Add the red pepper flakes and continue stirring for another minute or so. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the cheese mixture and stir to evenly combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Lay the tortillas flat and spread one half with a quarter of the cheese mixture. Fold the tortillas in half and press lightly to seal. Wipe the skillet you used to cook the mushrooms with a paper towel and re-coat with cooking spray. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook the quesadillas until lightly brown and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces and serve immediately with pico de gallo and guacamole, if desired.

Laura Ryan